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Memoria by Multiplication: The Cornelii Scipiones in Monumental Memory

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Chapter Summary

In a political culture of fierce competition for honores, rank and reputation, the permanent presence of the glorious familial history of the Cornelii Scipiones in the present was guaranteed by a strategy of multiplication, not only in visual media, of statues and other monuments, but also by the regular performative ‘acting out’ of their hereditary prestige by pompae funebres as well as by the repertoire of rhetorical self-fashioning as members of a ‘meritocracy’ through laudationes. At the same time, these performative acts addressed to the populus as public time and again gave renewed meaning to these monuments. In turn, the pompae in particular received from, and tapped on, the monuments and their eternal messages of fame, the glorious (hi)stories and heroic feats in two great wars in Africa. This strategy of combining visual as well as performative media kept this legendary familial heritage very much alive down to the end of the Republic.



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